Since taking over the administration of this site all I’ve concentrated on has been making sure that there has been a semi-consistent stream of PKD news. This is not all that I intended for the site but I decided to start and build it gradually like Seth Goden Advises in Poke the Box rather than wait to show it until it’s perfect (which means it wouldn’t get finished).
My intention has always been to create an online resource just like the first version of philipkdick.com was before 2003. I remember frequently going to that site and spending time looking through it. There isn’t a resource like that for Philip K. Dick right now so I decided. I would provide a permanent site that a new fan or a long time fan can check back in with regularly and see something new.
In addition to that goal, I would like to create a repository of digital content about Philip K Dick including online articles, journals and web sites. What I have attempted to create on my home computer is a folder where I save all the PKD related content, articles, web pages, journals, etc so that I had that resource but I have had trouble with organizing the content and being able to find and save everything and been unsure of the format. Without talking to the webmaster, I was unable to save an entire site in the correct format and it would be extremely time consuming. Especially large sites like the old philipkdick.com site.
Maintaining this repository or mirror site if you will brings up several issues that I have thought through and made a decision on (at least for the time being):
- When do you pull or grab the content?: I decided that I would only pull completed content that is published at a certain time and will never change. Online articles/journalism, journals, fanzines or completed web sites just before being sunset (2010 Philip K Dick Festival site when the next festival planning begins, for example) Blogs won’t be archived because the content is rotating and the wiki pages won’t be archived because they are constantly changing.
- How long to store the content?: My plan right now is to permanently store the content in the philipkdickfans.com site. A structure has been created to house the content on the web server. I have concerns about size but I decided to see how it goes and adjust later if needed.
- How to store it?: Web sites will need to be copied over in their entirety through ftp or other means, articles will be made into pdf files, and journals hopefully are already in pdf format and will only need to be copied to the site.
- Copyright concerns?: If the copyright owner contacts philipkdickfans[at]gmail[dot]com requesting the content removed, it will be. The goal with the repository is not to violate copyright or make money off of another’s work but to provide ubiquitous access central reliable consistent content so that scholarship especially is not lost.
I heard the social media discussions about finding the old philipkdick.com site in the archive.org site and I would like to avoid having to use measures such as that to preserve content and scholarship. Recently, blogs have been an attempt to keep content long term on the Internet but there have been some of the same issues cropping up like rotting sites and a difficulty moving the content from a serial format to a static format or structure.
Update: I’ve decided that I would not focus on collecting the news items that seem to be coming out daily now in favor of scholarly or criticism work because, frankly, of time constraints and I have been beginning to rethink my initial stance on the news category.
If you have any questions, comments or complaints you don’t want seen in a comment on the site, please email philipkdickfans[at]gmail[dot]com.